Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) transmission routes remain largely uncharacterised, particularly in the newly emergent regions of the Middle East and Europe, and this hampers development of effective and proportionate control programmes.
The aim of work package 4 (WP4) is to elucidate the routes by which LSDV is transmitted from cattle to cattle and farm to farm and to assess their relative importance in LSD epidemiology.
Arthropod vectors are believed to be involved in the transmission of LSD and will be a focus of this WP. Transmission studies will be performed after in vitro and in vivo feeding of different insect species. When LSD outbreaks would occur during the project then insects will be captured and checked for the presence of LSDV.
In addition indirect transmission via fomites such as feed troughs and via contaminated stable environment will be examined. Semen will be collected from clinically affected bulls and checked for the presence of LSDV. LSDV positive semen will be used to inseminate heifers to study a possible LSDV transmission route in the absence of vectors. Semen will also be collected from bulls after vaccination with a live attenuated LSD vaccine to evaluate the presence of LSD viral vaccine strain.